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Feb. 23rd, 2007

For those what care, Harry Potter's, uh, staff is for inspection at...

http://www.wwtdd.com/post.phtml?pk=1947

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Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
bistet
Feb. 23rd, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
totally off topic - but one of my coworkers is going off today about hikers who get stuck on mountains in the middle of winter causing much taxpayer money and ridiculous media sensation....

we were wondering who pays for the search and rescue? how do you feel about charging the lost people the cost of the searches? where is the line drawn between studid people who shouldn't be on any mountain ever, and those that have had an accident or set of bad circumstances to cause the problem? how to those areas that cater to winter tourists balance cost and risk associated with search and rescue?

we are having a spirited discussion with many different ideas and thoughts being bantered around... since you are the only winter SAR person any of us know, we wondered your opinions of things.
rozebud
Feb. 23rd, 2007 06:53 pm (UTC)
But shouldn't we be talking about Harry Potter's thingy?
geckospot
Feb. 24th, 2007 06:49 pm (UTC)
ambulance
I'm waiting to see what he says, too, but I know that ambulances send bills to patients. I agree that at least some of the cost should be paid by the victims and I imagine that insurance companies cover the ski places.
bxiie
Feb. 25th, 2007 03:16 am (UTC)
Hello.

Who picks up the tab depends on where the search is. I can only comment on Vermont and New Hampshire. In Vermont, the taxpayer picks up the cost. In New Hampshire, the taxpayer picks up the cost unless there is gross negligence on the part of the searchee, in which case the searchee may be presented with a bill for all or part of the search.

Searches can be really expensive. A helicopter costs a lot of money to run. The people in charge are always government people, paid. Some or all of the searchers may be paid depending, again, on where the search is. In my experience, something like half of the actual searchers are paid (fish cops, state police) and the other half are volunteer.

Personally? I think the person benefitting from the search operation should pay for the costs of the search and rescue regardless of the circumstances. Maybe the victim is not negligent; properly prepared, etc., just slips on a rock or whatever and needs to be carried out. Why should the taxpayer be liable for the costs of this person's recreational choices?

As Geckospot points out, even in civilization, the ambulance costs money. The benificiary gets a bill regardless of the circumstances. It is then the responsibility of the patient to pay the bill, have insurance pay the bill, or recover the cost from some other liable party. I think the backcountry model should be the same.

One interesting point that you touch on; I have been to numerous searches on the back side of Killington. Skiers and boarders routinely ski out of bounds and get lost overnight. We go up and search the usual locations the next day and help the poor lost puppies back to the road. I tend to think that the ski area should help defray the cost of these searches though they don't. In fact, they used to be appreciative; we'd run the searches out of their parking lots, they'd provide food and occasionally free lift tickets for the volunteer searchers. They haven't done that in the past few years and now don't even let us run the searches from their property (we now run them out of a highway garage). Their attitude now seems to be that once the people cross the boundary onto the state lands, they are no longer the ski area's responsibility. Crass, if you ask me.
geckospot
Feb. 25th, 2007 10:17 pm (UTC)
snarkiness
Gee, if the ski places don't want to support the people rescuing their clients then maybe the ski places should have their own rescue people. What do they do? See that the tracks end at state property and go back to the lodge for cocoa?
bxiie
Feb. 27th, 2007 02:45 am (UTC)
Re: snarkiness
Yes. At the end of the day, the last ski patrollers down the mountain identify new sets of tracks going out of bounds then go back and call Vermont State Police (the organization that handles all SAR in this state). They do allow searchers starting from the top of the mountain to ride the lifts to the top for free.
geckospot
Feb. 27th, 2007 02:53 am (UTC)
free lift passes
Wow that's mighty white of them.
bxiie
Feb. 27th, 2007 02:55 am (UTC)
Some costs are covered by the volunteer, as well. We pay for our own gear, travel expenses, search food, time off from our real jobs, cost of whatever training and skills we provide.

We really like it when subjects of searches show some kind of gratitude. This happens maybe half the time. The subject of a recent mountaineering rescue gave $500 to each of four volunteer organizations that participated. Interestingly, the families of deceased subjects seem to often make substantial donations.
geckospot
Feb. 24th, 2007 06:47 pm (UTC)
nice young thingy!
He's soooo close to legal. Don't they have age requirements in whatever country he's from?
The comments under that post were pretty damned funny, too.

And yeah, what Bistet said, how is that handled? I know lots of the SAR stuff is volunteer but some expenses should be paid for by the vics.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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